server blades

EXCLUSIVE- SLAC installs hyper efficient server

By Lou Covey Editorial Director

A hyper-efficient, high-performance data center was recently installed at a SLAC facility in Menlo Park, California  that operates on an energy efficiency several orders of magnitude over the most efficient data centers in the world--- and it fits on the back end of a pickup truck.

While most server racks operate on a ratio of 1W of cooling power to 3-4W of processing power, the system installed at SLAC operates at a 1 to 200W ratio.  The system is a collaborative project between Intel, Emerson Network Power, Panduit, One Stop Systems, Inc., Smart Modular, Inc. and Clustered Systems.

The high-density, high-performance system, located in the the LCLS (Linac Coherent Light Source) facility, comprises 128 servers in an 800mm wide 48U rack containing four chassis with built in cooling and a 105kW n+2 redundant power supply. Each chassis cools the servers directly via a pumped refrigerant, up to 20 kw per 8U chassis, with up to 5 fitting into a standard IT rack. The space for the fifth chassis was allocated to a high-performance switch.

“This is HPC, Cloud or even a Data Center in a box," said Phil Hughes, CEO of Clustered Systems. “A user can put a system anywhere there is power. No special facilities are required. We have calculated that capital expense can be reduced by up to 50% and total energy consumption by 30%. All investment can go into compute and not have to be shared with bricks and mortar.”

"To be able to pack such computing power into such a small space is unprecedented," said Amedeo Perazzo, Department Head Controls and Data Systems, Research Engineering Division at SLAC.

New Tech Press was given an exclusive look at the system. Watch the first part of the video here: